Day 39: Trusting God in Sabbath
Our “breath prayer” for today: As you inhale, whisper, “We lean into You, Lord…” As you exhale, whisper,
“…our Helper and Provider.”
Slowly read aloud the following Scripture
Trust in the Lord and do what is right! Settle in the land and maintain your integrity! Then you will take delight in the Lord, and He will answer your prayers. Commit your future to the Lord! Trust in Him, and He will act on your behalf. He will vindicate you in broad daylight, and publicly defend your just cause. Wait patiently for the Lord! Wait confidently for Him! D o not fret over the apparent success of a sinner, a man who carries out wicked schemes! Do not be angry and frustrated! Do not fret! That only leads to trouble!
The Lord grants success to the one whose behavior He finds commendable. Even if He trips, He will not fall headlong, for the Lord holds His hand. I was once young, now I am old. I have never seen a Godly [person] abandoned, or his children forced to search for food. All day long he shows compassion and lends to others, and his children are blessed. Turn away from evil! Do what is right! Then you will enjoy lasting security. (Psalm 37:3-8; 23-27, NET)
For further exploration:
Divine Father, how our hearts yearn to express our love for You! Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for knowing exactly what we need before we even ask. Thank You for never abandoning us or leaving our children begging for bread. Thank You for being our faithful source. We have always been able to depend on Your goodness. We take delight in You, Lord. We commit everything we do to You because we know we can trust You to help us. You direct our steps and You delight in every detail of our lives. Even though we sometimes stumble, we will never fall because You hold us by Your hand. You love us with an unfailing love and Your faithfulness endures forever. We find comfort in knowing that the very hairs on our heads are all numbered. Therefore, we are not afraid because we know how much You value us. We praise You Lord, for You have shown us the wonders of Your unfailing love!
Almighty Father, as a Church Family, we declare that we will not worry about what we will eat, what we will drink, or what we will wear. We trust that You already know our needs, so we will simply commit to seek Your Kingdom above all else and live righteously. Then, we can expect everything we need to be added to us. We decree that we will keep the gates of provision open by giving cheerfully and not reluctantly. We know that if we continue to be obedient in our giving that You will generously provide all that we need. Not only that, but we will have plenty to share with others. We will learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others. We confess that our love for You, Father, will not be overshadowed by a love for the material things Your goodness provides for us. We believe that You will faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds. You crown the year with a bountiful harvest. Even the hard pathways overflow with abundance. We decree that You are our sun and shield, giving us grace and glory. You will withhold no good thing from us when we do what is right.
Reflect on the goodness of God and praise Him for what He has provided for you:
Holy Spirit, help us to acknowledge our motives when we ask for things. Help us to seek the Father only for what belongs to us, not to covet what doesn’t. Help us to trust the Lord completely with our needs. Remind us that the Father causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them. Help us to keep a generous heart even when times are tough. Show us areas where we need to fortify our faith in God’s faithfulness to us. Help us to teach our children to honor the Lord for all that He does for us. Remind us that we are not to compete with one another, chasing after status and possessions. Keep our feet firmly planted on the ground. Remind us to keep a Kingdom perspective in all that we do. Sharpen our discernment to recognize opportunities to sow seed into good ground. Deliver us from being fearful about how our needs will be met.
Faithful Father, forgive us for being greedy, selfish, arrogant, rude, impatient, and thoughtless. Forgive us for murmuring and complaining while we wait for manifestation in our lives. Forgive us for our lack of good stewardship over what we already have. Forgive us for lying, cheating, and even stealing to get ahead. Forgive us for withholding our best gifts from You. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that You have committed).
Holy Spirit, remind us of all those we need to forgive and help us to be quick to forgive. As for me, Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance those I need to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal names or faces of people that You may need to forgive. As He reveals them say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in Your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit, help us not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
We praise You, Lord! How amazing are Your deeds! Everything You do reveals Your glory and majesty.
We know Your greatness, Father; that You are greater than any other god. You do whatever pleases You throughout all heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths. Your Name endures forever. Your fame is known to every generation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture References for the Written Text: Matthew 6:8, Psalm 37:25, Psalm 37:4-5, 23-24, Psalm 117:2, Luke 12:7, Matthew 6:31, 33, II Corinthians 9:7-8, Titus 3:14, Psalm 65:5, 11, Psalm 84:11, James
4:3, Proverbs 3:5, Romans 8:28, Matthew 6:13, Psalm 135:5-6, 13-14
Concepts to Consider
When we observe a Sabbath day we are trusting the Lord to provide for us and to take care of all that concerns us throughout that day (and beyond). Sabbath reminds us that everything we have ultimately comes from the Lord and that He is the One Who is the Giver and Sustainer of all life. At a basic level not observing Sabbath is a kind of idolatry wherein we put our efforts and our agendas ahead of trusting God. (To be clear, the only exceptions in Torah for not observing Sabbath are life or death emergencies. You can break sabbath to save a life!)
Jesus in His Model Prayer gives us the “Sabbath-itude” of dependence on God for our “daily bread.” Sadly, however, we live in a society that pushes us to work 24/7. We somehow feel like we will be or have less or fall behind if we don’t constantly work and produce. In a way, taking a Sabbath day is like the tithe. In giving God one day of the week we are trusting that He will provide for us all seven days, even though we only worked six.
In truly trusting God during the Sabbath–and not just going through the formal motions and legalistically fulfilling the external form of the day–we avoid the idolatry of legalism and abject self-reliance that can “so easily beset us (Hebrews 12:1).”
Personal Reflection: Have there been times when you have given into the pressure not to take a Sabbath day? If so, how did it affect you and your relationship with God?
Kingdom Reflection: Our world generally has no concept of Sabbath. It drones on and on and many people are crushed in the gears of material progress. By God’s grace, what simple actions can we take today that may help shift our focus from the relentless pursuit of production, accumulation, and progress toward the restorative Sabbath ideals of “work/rest/restore” that God longs for us to embrace?
Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:
If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7). Turn off or put down all distractions. Close your eyes. Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word, phrase, or image from the Scripture you read today. Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord. If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image. You may want to set a timer.